April 13, 2018, by Jim Efstathiou Jr., Jim Polson and Elise Young
New Jersey lawmakers have revived a long-stalled plan to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.
Both houses of the state Legislature approved a bill Thursday allowing the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to reconsider a 24-megawatt project by Fishermen’s Energy LLC that was rejected under Republican Governor Chris Christie. The measure gives regulators 90 days to act on Fishermen’s application, which will be filed in May, the company’s secretary Paul Gallagher said.
While Christie shunned offshore wind, his Democratic successor Governor Phil Murphy has a goal for the state to have 3.5 gigawatts operating by 2030.
Last week, the renewable energy unit of Paris-based Electricite de France SA announced it had agreed to buy the project from Fishermen’s in order to gain a toehold in the New Jersey market. The wind farm will be about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the coast. The Sierra Club has opposed the project, saying it is too close to shore.
The world’s largest offshore-wind developer, Orsted A/S, and a second company, US Wind Inc., have federal leases to develop a 344,000-acre area in the Atlantic Ocean. That site is also off the coast of Atlantic City but farther out to sea.